Interview, Music

‘Razzmatazz’, the third album by Tromsø based Jugglers Head

Photo: Draga Kamenova

In the middle of June Tromsø based band Jugglers Head released their third full-length album ‘Razzmatazz’. And this album has every chance to get into your list of the best albums of this summer. If the band name doesn’t sound familiar to you, I won’t be surprised. Focusing on “the pure joy of making music”, Jugglers Head themselves admit that they “have been lurking in the shadows for quite a while”. But they definitely deserve your attention.

The best definition to describe this band – creative. How the band was formed, how they record their albums, their sources of inspiration, their attitude – everything united by this definition. As is often the case in the music world it’s difficult to assign the band to one particular genre. But take The Doors, Stones, The Beatles and some stuff of The Strokes and Jack White, so you begin to see Jugglers Head’ big picture 

But of course the best way to get to know the band is to listen to their music. Find the ‘‘Razzmatazz’’ on streaming services! And if you need some more comments from the band, read the interview about their history and their view of music

You previously released albums ‘Jugglers Head’ in 2018 and ‘Mad Circus’ in 2021, and also double single ‘Oh My My/Howlin’ at the Moon’ in 2019. And on June 16th came your third album ‘Razzmatazz’. But still terribly little information about the band can be found. So could you tell us actually what Jugglers Head as a band is? How was it formed? And what’s going on with the band now?

Hehe…yeah, you’re right, there’s terribly little information about the band out there. We’ve been lurking in the shadows for quite a while. Jugglers Head started out just as a playground to be creative within. We didn’t have a plan. We just wanted a place to play around freely, for the pure joy of making music. Not planning any further than that. Instead of having all these songs in our heads we decided it would be better to record them so we could move on. As soon as one song was recorded a new song idea emerged. Then the new song had to be recorded as well, then the next idea appeared. It just went on like that for a while and soon we had a lot of songs on our hands. In the beginning we were only two members, Chief Juggler (Torbjørn Rogde) playing most of the instruments, and Madam Juggler (Janine Tessem Strøm) hammering the cowbell(!!) and tambourine, playing keys and screaming backing vocals. For this new album, Roofie the Razzmatazz (Rolf Terje Gjeitanger Kaurin) has entered the building taking over the microphone. Now that the album is finished we’re looking forward to our upcoming live shows where we will perform with a full band line up. It’s gonna be awesome!

When and where was the new album recorded? Who besides the band contributed to it? 

The album has been recorded in a relatively impulsive way, just like the earlier albums. With our own “rockbag” of microphones and recording equipment we’ve been making our way to our rehearsal space whenever a new idea for a song has emerged. We aim to “get it on tape” as soon as possible to keep the energy of recording something which is fresh to ourselves. We have restricted ourselves to keep those spontaneous tracks rather than “making it better” later hoping that the excitement we had could be heard on the album. Although the mix has been done on a later stage, the performance of the recording has remained unchanged. We don’t aim for polished perfection in our productions, we enjoy it more if one can hear the spontaneity of doing something fresh. This has been our ongoing process. We record a song, without the next one being written. Then we do the next one. When there’s enough songs to call it an album, we release it.  Another thing we find cool about that is that each song gets a slightly different sound since no song has been recorded in the exact same way. 

So, to answer your question; the album has been recorded on-and-off over the year or so, by ourselves in our own rehearsal space. The mixing as well has been done by ourselves, making this a very much a DIY kind of thing.

Who is the main songwriter in the band? And what could you tell us about history behind the lyrics on this album?

The main idea-maker and melody-maker would be Torbjørn Rogde, but of course the rest of the band have had their inputs and made their important marks all the way. Lyric-wise it’s often a collaboration between Chief Juggler (Torbjørn) and Madam Juggler J (Janine). But every now and then there’s a missing word, and we’ll use the word of whoever had the suggestion. On this album Roofie the Razzmatazz (Rolf Terje) had some contributions lyric-wise. In general, we’re trying to have some fun with the lyrics, avoiding the standard cliche phrasings, which of course is more difficult, but a fun thing to do. 

Your music can be defined as garage rock and power pop. What are your main inspirations within music generally and for the new album particularly?

Torbjørn Rogde: That’s always a difficult question to answer because there are so many. I don’t think there’s any one inspiration especially for this album, I actually like the idea of not knowing what we’re aiming for. But of course there are in general many inspirations, and the album ends up like a mix of those combined with our own flava. If I were to name names, I would start with the great gods of the 60s. The Doors, the 60s (and partially 70s) Rolling Stones and Bob Dylan. And of course The Beatles. They all have a playfulness and creativity which I think Jugglers Head are inspired by. Other playful bands from our modern day that we enjoy are Mystery Lights, Arctic Monkeys (perhaps not their last album so much), Queens of the Stone Age, The Strokes, the Schizophonics, Natural Child. And also, not everything he does, but the best stuff of Jack White’s many projects is great. I guess we love those bands/artists where you can hear a playful creativity going on.

You are releasing your music yourself. What is behind this decision?

Torbjørn Rogde: I don’t think that necessarily was a conscious decision. I guess we just suddenly had an album ready which we wanted to share with the world. Since it is a possibility to release it yourself, we did. That doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the way we’re gonna do things forever. 

‘Razzmatazz’ is available now on streaming services. Are you considering releasing it on any physical format as well?

We did consider it, and we wanna do it, but we’ve heard the wait from ordering till you got it in your own hands is very long. But I guess it’s still a bit undecided… we love the physical format.

Do you have any plans for live shows this summer?

Our next show up is a summer festival here in Tromsø, called Hagefestn. We’re gonna follow that one up with some more gigging during the fall. If you’re reading this, we hope to see you at our live shows in the near future!

Cover art: Jugglers Head

Album on Spotify
Album on Soundcloud